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Wondered what it was like to be a high roller?
on May 2, 2010
This is my review from the original hardback edition (Amazon didn't map them over to this paperback edition):
If you want to read about Las Vegas's highest of high rollers, "whales," and what a casino will do to keep them happy, then this book won't fail to satisfy. Along the way you'll meet Steve Cyr, a young Turk casino host. A host is the casino's employee whose job it is to look after the big players and to keep them happy and, more importantly, keep them coming back and gambling more and more.
Much of the book is built around Cyr and his style (his style can be both inspiring and annoying). Cyr is about 70% time-share/condo salesperson and 35% cruise director and 10% Kato Kaelin (yeah, he's 115%). But the book is more than Cyr and his successful effort to modernize the way casinos market to high rollers. You'll meet some of the whales themselves. You'll find out about the mini-palaces casinos have built just for them. And one subject usually kept off the record is covered: do casinos provide sex to their top players?
The book is not a superficial People Magazine of famous celebs who frequent Vegas. It's about both sides of the table, the whales and the casinos and hosts who harpoon them. The dark side of gambling is offered up as gamblers spin downward out of control, losing millions. There are plenty of details and that's what really distinguishes this book. Other books have touched on the fantasy of the high roller's life. Such as Lifestyles of a High Roller, Anderson's Burning the Tables, Rubin's Comp City and a couple specials on the Travel Channel, but nothing has offered up the depth or detail of Whale Hunt.
The only thing missing from the book is more.